Warning on residential care fees
Published on 27 February 2012 12:00 PM
Double-digit figure rises in fees could see more and more older people having to sell their family homes to afford residential care, a report has warned.
A study by Age UK found that average care home fees had risen by as much as an inflation-busting 14% in the last 12 months. The situation has arisen mainly due to local authorities cutting back on the amount they pay for poorer residents, with private care home operators upping fees for other residents to make up the difference.
London is one of the worst-hit areas, with average charges up by £4,400 from a year ago to stand at £35,300. Charges in East Anglia stood at £28,800 a year while in the North East and Cumbria they were at £25,300.
Michelle Mitchell, of Age UK, said: 'The under-funding crisis in care is hitting older people hard and self-funding care home residents are unjustly having to foot the bill for cuts to social care.
'Care home residents aren't in a position to move and shop around for more affordable deals. For those who self-fund, the low interest earned from savings accounts won't cover these price increases. Older people in residential care need a fair deal when they are paying for their care. To tackle the immediate crisis, the Government has to recognise and close the gap in social care spending.'
Copyright Press Association 2012